EUFORES 19th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

22 & 23 November 2019, Parliament of Finland, Helsinki, Finland


Parliament of Finland



On 22 and 23 November 2019, the 19th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting (IPM19 Helsinki) took place in close co-operation with the Energy Reform Group of the Finnish Parliament.The event was attended by 100 participants, including Members of Parliament from 18 EU Member States plus a delegation of the Western Balkans parliaments. Other attendants of this conference included representatives from national ministries, the European Commission, embassies and selected scientific and industry representatives. 

During the conference, attendees shared opinions, thoughts and suggestions on how to accelerate the transition towards a low carbon economy. On her opening remarks, MEP Theresa Griffin, underlined the need of bringing a message across Member States to accelerate the Europe’s energy transition towards more renewables and energy efficiency.


The high-level speaker, Tuula Haatainen, First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Finland, spoke about a variety of issues connected to climate change and the concrete measures that will need to be taken to address them. Ms Haatainen opened her speech stating: “The picture is clear, climate change is here, we are not talking about future but today… Climate change is a global threat, therefore a solid cooperation with other countries and pioneers is necessary”. MP Saara-Sofia Sirén, Chair of the Energy Reform Group of the Finnish Parliament, affirmed that Finland has set ambitious targets and a binding legislative framework to become carbon neutral by 2030. In her speech, MP Saara-Sofia Sirén stated, “The Finnish Energy Reform Group is bringing together different political parties to find new solutions for the climate change, a huge challenger that can be solved only by working together”.

On her message to the politicians, Laura Kolehmainen, a young leader of the Finnish climate movement (Ilmastoveivi2019) appealed to an update of EU 2030 emission targets, new initiatives to comply with Paris Agreement and bringing concrete solutions on each Member State. According to Claude Turmes, Energy Minister of Luxemburg, climate emergency must be embraced by all political parties, governments across Europe must support changes such as the introduction of green building and electro-mobility to decarbonize Europe. 


General input on renewables in electricity was given by Dirk Hendricks (European Renewable Energies Federation EREF), Robert Brückmann (eclareon), Giles Dickson (WindEurope), Naomi Chevillard (SolarPower Europe) and Matthias Buck (Agora Energiewende).

The keynote speaker, Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change confirmed that Finland will be part of the climate solution. A first climate act was approved in 2018 with many measures that will be introduced in transport, agriculture and buildings sectors to reduce emissions and protect our planet. 

During the two days of conference, participants had the opportunity to assist to a debate on the potential and challenges of the Baltic Sea energy system  with Christian Breyer (Lappeenranta University of Technology), Øyvind Vessia (Ørsted) and Michaela Holl (European Commission) stressing the importance of a closer cross-border cooperation on the region. Furthermore, presentations on the decarbonization of heating and cooling system were given by Michaela Holl, Karoliina Auvinen (Aalto University), Maiju Westergren (Helen) and Hannes Tuohiniitty (Bioenergy Association Finland). This session offered an overview on the current gaps on reaching Energy Union 2020 and 2030 targets on renewables and energy efficiency and the Finnish achievements regarding the decarbonization of the district heating system.

The conference included a debate on energy efficiency with Almut Bonhage (Coalition for Energy Saving), Anne Weidenbach (European Commission) and Daniel Becker (Navigant). Ms. Weidenbach and Ms. Bonhage stressed the importance of implementing the energy efficiency regulation, the existing challenges to tackle energy efficiency and the deriving benefits, while Mr. Becker’s presentation focused on the importance of elaborating effective narratives around energy efficiency. On the last session on energy poverty and clean energy transition for all citizens MEP Theresa Griffin stated:

“Energy is a basic social right….no one should be left behind, we must connect and incentivize all”.


Speaker Presentations

Dirk Hendricks, Secretary General, European Renewable Energies Federation EREF

Robert Brückmann, Head Policy Consulting Department, eclareo

Giles Dickson, CEO, WindEurope

Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor, SolarPower Europe

Matthias Buck, Head of European Energy Policy, Agora Energiewende

Christian Breyer, Professor of Solar Economy at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT)

Michaela Holl, Policy Analyst, Renewables and CCS policies, DG Energy, European Commission

Øyvind Vessia, Head of European Affairs, Ørsted

Michaela Holl, Policy Analyst, Renewables and CCS policies, European Commission

Karoliina Auvinen, Smart Energy Transition Project, Aalto University

Maiju Westergren, Vice President, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Helen

Hannes Tuohiniitty, CEO, Bioenergy Association Finland, President Bioenergy Europe

Anne Weidenbach, Policy Officer, Unit Energy Efficiency, DG Energy, European Commission

Almut Bonhage, Senior Consultant, Coalition for Energy Savings

Daniel Becker, Director Energy, Navigant

Josh Roberts, Advocacy Officer,

Julia Hildermeier, Associate EU Programme, Regulatory Assistance Project





You can download the Booklet of the IPM19 here.





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